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Opioid-reated deaths drop sharply in Iowa

Number falls to lowest level in five years.

Posted: Jul 1, 2019 2:07 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa – Opioid-related deaths in Iowa plunge to their lowest level in five years.

The Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Health Statistics says there were 137 deaths related to opioids in 2018. That’s down from 206 in 2017 and reverses a fairly steady upward trend of fatalities.

Health officials say these are the number of deaths related to opioids in Iowa since 2014:

2014: 168
2015: 163
2016: 180
2017: 206
2018: 137

Kevin Gabbert, IDPH Opioid Initiatives Director, says there are probably several reasons for the sharp drop in deaths, including greater availability of naloxone, expansion of medication-assisted treatment, and better use of the prescription monitoring program.

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